FMB survey shows backing for long term sustainability plan

FMB survey shows backing for long term sustainability plan

The latest State of Trade Survey (Q3 2022) from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) reveals that 74% of members are in favour of the UK Government introducing a long term plan to reduce energy consumption by making existing homes greener and more energy efficient.

The survey shows that growth in workloads, enquiries and employment levels are all continuing to contract, with enquiries dropping into negative territory for the first time since 2013, excluding the pandemic years. This means that across the country, more builders are reporting a fall in enquiry levels, compared to the number seeing a rise.

These findings come at a time of political uncertainty with building companies having to adapt without knowing what the immediate future holds, due to inconsistent economic policies. The FMB warns that without “clear political and economic direction, the industry will continue to face an uncertain future”.

Price rises are continuing to soar with 90% of builders experiencing material cost increases and 88% of respondents expecting prices to rise in the next quarter. According to the responses, material shortages and difficulties finding skilled labour are still causing job delays for the majority of FMB members. Indded, around 60% of builders have delayed jobs due to a lack of materials and 59% have delayed work due to a shortage of skilled tradespeople.

The FMB State of Trade Survey, which is released quarterly, is reportedly the only survey of its kind to track the experience of small to medium-sized (SME) construction firms in the UK. Further details from the latest survey for Q3 2022 include:

A National Retrofit Strategy to upgrade existing homes

74% of small, local builders are in favour of retrofitting UK homes.

Market conditions

Both workload and enquiries have decreased in Q3 2022 compared to Q2 2022 on balance in all sectors.

In terms of total enquiries, a third (33%) of FMB members report an increase in Q3 compared to Q2 2022.

62% of FMB members have been impacted by a shortage of materials.


20% of FMB members report an increase in the number of employees within their company’s workforce in Q3 2022.

At least one third of FMB members are struggling to recruit carpenters/joiners, bricklayers and general labourers (43%, 38%, and 34%).


90% of FMB members reported an increase in material costs in Q3 2022.

88% of respondents expect material costs to increase in Q4 2022.

76% of builders have put up their prices for work.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “The fall in builders’ workloads and enquiries to a level not seen since 2013, discounting the turbulent market during the Covid pandemic is a worrying signal about the future prospects for the building industry. They reflect the overall economic situation that the UK finds itself in.”

He added: “Small builders across the country need clear policies, and a degree of assurance so they can plan ahead. The current political uncertainly and its impact on the economy needs to be addressed quickly. Over 70% of members support a UK-wide retrofit strategy to make the existing housing stock more energy efficient. This is one of the best ways to boost both the economy and the industry, while also upgrading our homes in an energy efficient way.”

Click here to read or download the latest FMB State of Trade Survey (Q3 2022).

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